President John F. Kennedy's memory is sacred in the minds of many Americans. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, a glass pavilion designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, is dedicated to his memory. Visitors are transported back to the darkest days of the Cold War. A short film recounts JFK's deeds in his own words while the authentic photos and exhibits evoke the brief period in White House history that nostalgic Americans refer to as "the days of Camelot".
With a planetarium, an IMAX movie theater, and a two-story Van de Graaf generator capable of producing 2.5 million volts of electricity, the Museum of Science is truly impressive. Children love the interactive discovery center, live animal exhibit and the dinosaur exhibit with fossils and life-size models. These and the hundreds of other exhibits make this museum one of Boston's top attractions. This educational and entertaining museum is perfect for the whole family.
This century-old Italianate structure of bronze doors and grand marble staircases, Boston Public Library was the first free municipal library in the nation. The library's first building on Mason street was a former schoolhouse, which opened in 1854. Having received an authorized decision, the library's then commissioners located a new building for the library on Boylston street. Thus, the Copley Square location became home to the library in 1895. Expanding the Copley Square location in 1972, McKim building was constructed. In this National Historic Landmark, you can find collections of maps and prints, rare books and manuscripts and fine mural series. The Boston Public Library offers daily tours highlighting famed central library buildings and art works within, like the ones by John Singer Sargent.
One of the most famous Ivy League Universities in the world, Harvard is every aspiring academic's dream destination. Established in the year 1636, Harvard is the oldest college in the United States by a country mile. Its collegiate school, initially known as 'New College', primarily served to instruct clergy members, and continued in this vein until the early periods of 18th Century. Throughout the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, Harvard's reputation has only grown, as did its offerings and concentrations. Harvard broke with tradition in 1977, when it merged with Radcliffe college, essentially making it coeducational. Today, Harvard remains one of the most prestigious learning institutions in the world, and the red bricks of Harvard Yard are a Boston landmark. Its campus covers nearly 210 acres (85 hectares) and is home to numerous heritage sights such as the John Harvard statue, Massachusets Hall, Widener Library and Harvard Yard.
Arnold Arboretum, a botanical garden, located in Jamaica Plain, is the crown jewel in Frederick Law Olmsted's Emerald Necklace, which is the chain of Boston parks that he created. The manicured grounds, under the management of Harvard University, are filled with exotic flora that are tagged with species and genus names for the eager amateur botanist. The annual 'Lilac Sunday' during the second week of May draws thousands of visitors to enjoy the beauty of over 500 lilac bushes.
The Old South Meeting House was originally built as a church by Puritans in 1729. This building went on to play an important role in the American Revolution as a gathering point for those seeking American independence from Britain. On December 16, 1773, over 5000 colonists met here to protest a tea tax. From the meeting, these protesters went to the waterfront and tossed crates of tea into the harbor. The act later came to be known as the Boston Tea Party. An in-house shop in the museum basement has small articles of the historic events that occurred here, as well as copies of books and documents of historical importance.
A library that looks nothing short of a castle, the Cambridge Public Library building is a city landmark. It was built in 1888 and boasts a Romanesque style of architecture. In addition to a diverse book collection, it hosts an array of events and author readings, as well as several book groups. Whether you’re a bibliophile or simply enjoy being in the lap of history, a visit here will surely be worth it. It is open from Monday to Thursday between 9:00a and 9:00p, Friday to Saturday between 9:00a and 5:00p, and on Sunday between 1:00p and 5:00p.
The Swedenborg Chapel is a wonderful little church built in 1901 by the famous architect Herbert Warren. Made out of stone, the church is a classic example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture. Located at the intersection of Quincy and Kirkland Streets, it is easily accessible. The interiors of the church are simple yet soothing. Regular services and religious practices are conducted by the church. Apart from this, annual events and other programs keep the church atmosphere lively. The chapel is also available for private events on rental basis.
In 1936 American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow arrived in Cambridge. He first came to this house as a boarder; later when he remarried in 1843, his father-in-law bought the house and gave it to the couple as a wedding present. Longfellow lived here for 45 years and taught at nearby Harvard University. The house is doubly noteworthy as General George Washington's headquarters during the siege of Boston in 1775-76. Now a National Historic Site, the house is maintained by the U.S. Park Service. Check website for operating hours.